Charleston native selected for Jackson 'top cop' honorBy ANTHONY WARREN/THE NORTHSIDE SUN,
JACKSON — Sitting on a roof with a man for two hours to keep the man from killing himself.
Chasing down a burglar in the pouring rain to crack the case in four break-ins.
It’s all in a day’s work for Officer Zemarion Meeks, one of the Northside’s finest.
The Precinct Four officer was recently recognized by the North Jackson Rotary Club for his efforts with the club’s “Officer of the Quarter” award.
It was the fourth time Meeks has been so honored in the last five years.
Meeks, though, doesn’t do it for the glory. He got into policing to help others and to make a difference.
“I love helping people. Being a policeman, that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “You actually have to help people.”
Meeks, a Charleston, Miss., native, joined the Jackson Police Department in January 2015. He is a graduate of Coahoma Community College and Alcorn State University.
The young officer has already made a name for himself, earning top honors in the process.
He earned his first Rotary “Officer of the Quarter” award for preventing a man from committing suicide.
Meeks had received a call that the man was on the roof of a two-story house, threatening to jump.
When he arrived, Meeks climbed on the roof and waited with the man two hours until medical help arrived.
“Part of being an officer is that you have to go beyond the scope of duty. He didn’t die, (and) he received the medical treatment he needed,” Meeks said.
For those heroics, Meeks also earned Officer of the Month honors from the Jackson Police Department, as well as recognition from his supervising sergeant.
He received his most recent Rotary award for apprehending a suspect involved in four early morning break-ins in Fondren earlier this year.
The suspect had broken into two businesses on Duling Avenue, before fleeing on foot into a nearby neighborhood.
Meeks and another officer arrived on the scene. “We noticed a white male running with knives in his hand,” he recalled.
Meeks gave chase for about 20 minutes, before he lost the suspect.
It was around 4 a.m. and pouring rain. Meeks was soaked.
“I got another call. A woman said a man had broken into her home and was standing over her saying, ‘give me your keys.’”
Meeks suspected it was the same guy, but that suspicion wasn’t confirmed until he got a third call, about a guy walking down the street with a pillow in hand.
The officer was still interviewing the homeowner at the time. “She said he had left with her pillow,” Meeks recalled.
The crook apparently settled for the pillow when he couldn’t get her keys.
Meeks then got another call reporting that the suspect had broken into another house. When he arrived on the scene, Meeks captured the suspect, who was wearing red underwear and carrying a pillow.
He was able to link the suspect to the business break-ins, solving four cases at once.
“After I took him downtown, I circled back to all the houses to give them case cards,” he said. “There was a lot of work, but he was captured.”
The suspect was charged with one count of burglary of an occupied dwelling and two counts of business burglary, all felonies.
Edley Jones, a former Rotary president and chair of the officer selection committee, said Meeks stood out because of his “stick-to-it-iveness.”
“He kept going and going and all at 4 in the morning,” he said. “It’s a little too early or late for a foot chase.”
The award included a $100 grocery card, a $50 dining card, a cooler featuring logos of JPD and Rotary, and a certificate of recognition.
IN THE PHOTO: Jackson policeman Zemarion Meeks, a Charleston native, has been named “Officer of the Quarter” by the North Jackson Rotary Club. (Photo special to The Sun-Sentinel)